KAMPALA – Korea will continue to deepen mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation with Uganda, and help the country foster new drivers of organic growth, HE. Ha Byung-kyoo, the Korean Ambassador to Uganda has said.
Ambassador Byung-kyoo said that Korea will announce a set of new measures to further deepen economic and trade ties with Uganda.
He made the remarks at the Uganda-Korea Economic Cooperation Seminar, held at the Kampala Serena Hotel on Monday, October 28.
The seminar brought together Korean Investors and Uganda government agencies including Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Ministry of trade, and members of the private sector among others who discussed Korea’s economic policy and analysis of bilateral economic relations.
Other topics focused on Korea’s development cooperation with the policy in Uganda and the 2019 Korean economic trend.
Ambassador Byung-kyoo said the new measures will pay more attention to enhancing Uganda’s endogenous growth, driving local economic growth and creating more job opportunities.
The two sides have enhanced industrial connections and made breakthroughs in manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, and aviation cooperation, he added.
He also cited the recent commissioning of the Soroti Fruit Processing Factory in April, a project, he says will provide employment for many Ugandans and consequently, increase household incomes in and around the region.
Other programmes include the Health System Strengthening Project in the Greater Masaka Region by the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare and Korea Programme on International Agriculture (KOPIA), which focuses on disseminating agricultural technology and enhancing the productivity of local farmers in Uganda.
He added that Korean governmental and non-governmental agencies, academic institutions, volunteers and business people, also contribute to various fields and capacities in communities around the country.
Ambassador Isaac Ssebulime, the Director of Regional, and International Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged government institutions to champion integrity when executing their duties to improve service delivery.
He urged heads of government ministries, departments and agencies to ensure that integrity is at the core of their duties to ensure transparency and accountability.
“You have to be transparent and accountable to enhance service delivery,” said the Ambassador.
He said all Ugandans have a role to play in the fight against corruption by ensuring integrity, transparency, and accountability among public officers for smooth service delivery.
“People in the communities should ensure that those heading public offices do their work in a clear and decent manner,” he said.
Mr. Martin Mutungi, from Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), said that any potential investor considering investing in Uganda will find a well regulated highly liberalized economy in which all sectors are open for investment and there is a free movement of capital to and from the country.
Quoting the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, he said that Uganda is ranked the 8th freest economy out of the 46 Sub-Saharan Africa countries.
He said the business operating environment allows the full repatriation of profits after the mandatory taxes have been paid, as well as 100% foreign ownership of private investments.
“The incentive the regime is structurally embedded in the country’s tax laws making them nondiscriminatory and accessible to both domestic and foreign investment depending on the sector and level of investment,” he said.
He also told investors that the minimum capital investment required for a foreign investor to be eligible to invest in the country in virtually any sector, apart from those that may compromise the country’s security, is US$100,000.
He also revealed that the government has created a One Stop Centre (OSC) for business registration and licensing at the Uganda Investment Authority.
The OSC, he said assists in tax advice and registration, immigration and work permit issues, land acquisition and verification, as well as environmental compliance and approvals.
Businessmen asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to open an Embassy in South Korea to simplify doing business.